Five affordable wide-angle lenses for mirrorless camera systems

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If you’ve recently purchased a mirrorless camera, whether it’s a full frame mirrorless camera or an APS-C mirrorless model from one of the big brands, you might have it. be purchased as a kit. In other words, the camera is sold with a lens, which is usually a standard zoom, such as an 18-55mm lens. (You can also purchase a mirrorless camera in a ‘body-only’ configuration, which means it does not have come with a goal at all.)However, all mirrorless cameras are interchangeable lens cameras, just like DSLRs (or single lens DSLRs), which means you don’t have to use just that 18 kit lens. -55mm, just like you do when you buy a point-and-shoot.

You have the option of swapping out the kit lens for another lens to use on your mirrorless camera.

And if you have an 18-55mm lens, a great “next” lens to buy for your mirrorless system is a wide-angle lens, which is generally defined as a lens that has a larger or wider field of view than this. which can be seen by the human eye. This translates to any lens that has a focal length of 35mm or shorter (when used on the equivalent of a 35mm film camera… more on that in a moment) .

There are two types of lenses you can buy: you can buy either a zoom lens, a fixed focal length lens, or a non-zoom lens, which does not allow you to change the focal length. Common wide angle zooms are 14-24mm and 17-35mm. Common fixed focal length lenses are 16mm, 20mm, 24mm, and 28mm. You can also find zoom lenses that will include a wide-angle focal length in a longer zoom range: for example, a 24-120mm lens goes from a wide-angle focal length (24mm) to a telephoto focal length (120mm). mm).

In this article, I will focus on prime lenses, as they are often more affordable than zooms.

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Why wide angle?

But why would you want to buy a wide angle lens?

For starters, they’re great for allowing you to squeeze more of your subject into a frame. In other words, you can get a wider and wider view of a landscape or city scene. In fact, many landscape, wildlife, and underwater photographers often use wide-angle fixed focal length lenses to capture more of a landscape or scene than you would see with a narrower lens. Other types of professional photographers also use them. For example, a photojournalist or documentary photographer might use a lens, such as a 28mm f / 1.4, to capture more of the frame while also emphasizing the subject in the foreground. Still life photographers like me love them because not only do they emphasize the subject in the foreground, but some, especially super wide angles, can add some distortion, which can give your image a surreal quality. (It’s important to note, however, that you’ll need to be careful when using a wide angle when shooting a formal portrait, as this can distort the appearance of your subject.)

Wide angles can also be very handy when shooting events or interiors, because in some settings if you are using a standard lens you may not have room to back up to compose a group portrait. But with a wide-angle or ultra-wide angle lens, you can bring all your loved ones, the award winners, or anyone else you photograph into one photo!

Below, I’ve listed five affordable lenses that have been introduced over the past few years by different brands that will get you started shooting wide angle lenses.

Full frame, APS-C and cropping factors

Before I get into the lenses, you might be wondering what I meant when I wrote “when used on the equivalent of a 35mm film camera. “This actually refers to what’s called the crop factor, which changes the effective focal length on cameras with smaller sensors than full-frame sensors.

Many new cameras introduced by Sony, Nikon, Canon and others can be found to be full frame mirrorless cameras. In each of them, you’ll find an image sensor the same size as a single 35mm film frame, which was used in traditional 35mm film DSLRs.

So if you attach a primary Sony lens, like the Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G lens, to one of Sony’s latest full-frame mirrorless cameras, like the Sony a7 IV, which has a large full frame sensor, there is no cropping. factor you need to worry about. The 24mm lens remains a 24mm lens.

But the goal will work a little differently when you used it on a camera with a smaller sensor, such as an APS-C sized sensor.

For example, if you use the Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G lens on a camera like the Sony ZV-E10 or the Sony a6600, the image will appear cropped or look like a longer focal length lens attached to the body of the lens. ‘camera.

In fact, on a Sony camera with an APS-C sized sensor, the crop factor is 1.5x. And when you multiply the focal length of this lens – 24mm – by the crop factor – 1.5 – that equates to 36. So when you use a 24mm lens on a camera with an APS-sized sensor – C (with a 1.5x crop factor), it looks like a lens with a 36 mm focal distance.

This photo was taken with the Fujifilm X-T30 with the Fujifilm XF 16mm F2.8 R WR main lens. Because this is an APS-C mirrorless system, the effective focal length of this shot is 24mm. Photo © Terry Sullivan.

The subject is more complex than that, but I wanted to give you an idea of ​​what happens when you use the same lens on camera bodies with different sized sensors. Now up to the list!

5 affordable wide-angle lenses

Most major camera brands have, in recent years, focused on producing lenses for their full frame mirrorless camera systems (which have large full frame sensors, which have no cropping).

The only major exception is Fujifilm, which has focused primarily on the production of mirrorless cameras with APS-Creduced size sensors, which have a cropping factor of 1.5x. You’ll also need to use the same 1.5x crop factor if you’re using the Sony lens on a Sony camera body with an APS-C sized sensor, like the a6600 or ZV-E10. Otherwise, the lens does not have a cropping factor.

Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM Fixed Focus Lens

This is a small, lightweight wide-angle lens that is significantly less expensive than some of Canon’s very expensive wide-angle zooms, which can cost over $ 1,500. But this first one is relatively inexpensive. Nevertheless, it still has powerful Canon technology like its stepper motor, which allows the lens to focus smoothly and silently. It is built with 9 elements in 7 groups, with an aspherical element and features Canon’s Super Spectra coating. It also has a minimum focus distance of 5.1 inches. Price: $ 299

For more information, visit the Canon website

Sony FE 24mm F2.8G Fixed Focus Lens

This 24mm wide-angle lens is ideal for a wide range of subjects, from street to landscape to documentary subjects. It is lightweight, only 5.7 ounces, and measures 1.8 inches long and 2.7 inches in diameter. It has an 8-element 7-group optical design, with an ultra-low dispersion element and aspherical elements to reduce a variety of aberrations, color fringes and distortion. When used on full frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, it has a focal length of 24mm, but it can also be used on Sony APS-C models, in which case it has a focal length equivalent to 36 mm. Its minimum focus distance is 9.4 inches.

For more information, visit the Sony Alpha Universe website

Price: $ 548

Nikon Nikkor Z 28mm F2.8 SE Fixed Focus Lens (Special Edition)

When Nikon first introduced its Z-series full-frame system, most lenses were quite expensive. However, recently they have introduced more affordable models including this 28mm f / 2.8 “SE” or special edition lens. It is ultra-compact and lightweight, and was released at the same time as the Nikon Z fc mirrorless model, an APS-C mirrorless camera, was introduced. However, the former is also compatible with full frame models from Nikon.

Price: $ 299.95

To learn more about this lens, visit the NikonUSA website

Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN Fixed Focus Lens

One of the things that has always set Sigma apart from many in the camera industry is that it not only makes lenses for its own full frame mirrorless camera bodies, but others as well. In this case, you can buy the 24mm lens with a Sony E mount or with the L mount from Leica, which will fit not only on some Leica camera bodies, but also on full frame mirrorless cameras. Sigma and Panasonic. It has an optical design of 10 elements in 8 groups, with 1 SLD glass and 3 aspherical lenses, and it has a dust and splash resistant structure.

Price: $ 549

To find out more, visit the Sigma website

Fujifilm XF 16mm F2.8 R WR main lens

One of the advantages of an APS-C system, like Fujifilm’s X series cameras, is that they are smaller and lighter than full frame models. This 16mm lens is part of its WR compact lens line and has a nice wide f / 2.8 maximum aperture. It weighs only 5.5 ounces and is only 1.79 inches long. It is also weather and dust resistant. In terms of construction, it has 10 elements in eight groups, with two aspherical elements. Of course, since this is a lens in an APS-C lens system, it has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24mm.

Price: $ 399.

For more information, visit the Fujifilm website

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